Thursday, March 12, 2015

Chillicothe Campus students learn how to dress for success in job interviews and other professional settings

OU-C students recently received expert advice on how to tailor their attire accordingly and dress for success when interviewing for jobs. Debbie Bettendorf, who operates “Find Your Fabulous,” a local fashion-consulting business, shared her expertise with students in the Applied Development Class.

Bettendorf, who graduated from Ohio University with a business degree, emphasized the importance that the right attire can play in making a good first impression as well as tips on shopping on a budget.

“I want to be able to level the playing field. People who shop on a budget should have the same opportunities as someone who can afford to spend more,” Bettendorf said in a recent newspaper article about her chosen profession.

Bettendorf noted the importance of job-seekers selecting clothes that best fit them and the situation, rather than going with the current fad, emphasizing a classic look.

“The person interviewing you will make the first impression of you within 30 seconds,” she said.

She also noted the importance of preparedness.

“Prepare for interviews well in advance and be ready.  You never know when opportunity will present itself. Plus, when you are prepared, you are more confident,” Bettendorf said.

As class instructor Martha Tanedo, Career Counselor at OU-C, points out, selecting the proper outfit is one of many nuances that add up when students are looking to land an entry-level job or internship; and the endeavor often begins prior to a formal face-to-face meeting. Her class focuses on many concrete steps students can take to better position themselves in the competitive job market and also make the most of these opportunities in advancing in their careers.

“Students need to realize that opinions are being formed of them on many levels even before they are seen in person,” Tanedo said. “In class we cover ‘branding’ or professional image and discuss online image, email and phone etiquette as well as physical appearance.”

“First impressions are critical and can influence an employer before the first interview question is asked,” Tanedo said. “Learning to present yourself professionally takes practice. Students are familiar with their social persona but they don't have as much opportunity to develop their professional side.  Additionally, most college students have a limited budget so it is a challenge to put together a business professional look.  We identify ways to do that as well as ways to change a less professional piece into something that would work in a professional environment.”

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